For Ron

I’ll never forget the day my husband went missing all day. Of course he left his phone at home, that was nothing new. I knew he was nearby because I could hear his faint laughter as I sat on the porch. This is often how I found him when he went missing. I would go stand on the porch, listen for his laugh, and figure out which neighbor he was with. But that day his laugh was coming from a neighbor’s house I didn’t know, so I just waited for him to come home.

Hours and hours later he came home and told me that I had to come with him to meet our neighbors. I would love them, he promised. I was skeptical, but I went anyway. That was the night I met Ron and Donna. And he was right, I would love them.

Sometimes you meet someone and they instantly become your family. That is how it was with Ron and Donna. We just clicked. After that first night we met up until they left for Oregon that spring, I don’t think I went more than one day without seeing them. We would walk over after dinner and play dice and talk and laugh. It made me sad to think that I had lived there for so many years without knowing them. When they left that summer, they left a big hole in the world we had come to know.

Fall came and they returned, things continued much the same and then years passed. We have done so much together. Laughed, cried, made fun of Tim, saw the Diamondbacks and Dwight Yoakum, ate crab in Laughlin, watched the kids play sports, played dice and just talked. The people who lived on the corner that we spent years not knowing, became family we didn’t even know we needed.

Thursday morning we found out that Ron was gone and the world as we knew it was shattered. He went in for a routine procedure and he didn’t come back out. A wonderful woman lost the love of her life, four great kids lost their father, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren lost their grandpa, a mother and father lost their first born son, and so many others lost a dear friend. It doesn’t seem right, and it still doesn’t feel real.

I’m not sure when I’ll stop hurting, but I know I will never stop missing him. I can still hear him saying, “Hey Kiddo” on repeat in my head. I hope that never goes away.

We love you, Ron. And we will miss you always.

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It’s me again…

It’s been awhile. I can’t believe my last post was in January. I feel like I’m living a whole new life since I last posted. So much has gone on. So much loss, but so much gain as well.

I’m not ready to talk about my losses, but I’d love to fill you in on what’s new…

We put the kids back in school, which was a big deal. They were ready for the change, and they really ended up thriving there.

We got our new house, which I will someday go into more detail about. The best analogy I have come up with is that it was like giving birth. While you’re going through it you swear it’s the worst thing ever, and you will never do it again, but then the pain fades and you decide it wasn’t that bad. I don’t have a shiny new baby to help dull the pain, but a pretty house helps a little. I certainly wouldn’t do it again anytime soon though!

As far as Weight Watchers goes, I’m still a member, but I’m basically throwing away $20 a month at this point. I reached 198 in November, but then it was Thanksgiving. And then it was Christmas. I was staying in the 204 range but not really following the plan very well. Then they changed to freestyle and it just didn’t work well for me. That, mixed with some extreme stress in my personal life, has put me back at 215! I decided to follow the plan again like 2 weeks ago and dropped down to 209 in 5 days, so it is doable, but one bad weekend undoes it all. It’s a struggle, but one I’m not willing to give up on yet.

So my weight loss journey continues. Recently Tim and I heard about something called Thrive, and we just started that today. We have good friends who have been using it and are seeing a huge difference in their lives because of it. It really isn’t geared toward weight loss, but that can be a benefit of it. I am a born skeptic, and I’m not going to try to sell you anything, but I will be posting my thoughts on it occasionally. For me I am hoping that this will normalize by hormonal imbalance. I’ve had issues with that ever since having an IUD removed like 6 years ago. I’m also hoping that it will increase my energy. I love napping, don’t get me wrong, but I’m an exhausted everyday. An increase in energy should increase my productivity which should help me exercise, which is something I desperately need to do.

We did our 3 steps for the first time this morning. Wake up, take a pill. Wait 20 minutes, drink a shake. Slap on a sticker.

My day 1 review is that the steps were very easy to do. The shake wasn’t brilliant (that’s a word my MIL uses), but it wasn’t awful. I can tell that I had more energy today. I never thought “I could totally use a nap right now” which is something I have thought every day for as long as I can remember. I had a long day selling shaved ice, and I am just now starting to feel like if I laid down I could go to sleep. I have been up since 5 and it is almost 9. The sticker never really stuck on all the way, but it was just one corner that seemed like it wasn’t on right. It’s starting to come off a little more now, so I will be testing out a new spot tomorrow that does less moving than my arm, that should help. I’ll let you know how I feel about it all in a few days.

I leave you with these sunset pictures that I took from the roof of the cabin. It was a beautiful day, but I’m ready to call it a night.

Running, planks and squats… oh my!

I started 2018 by resuming C25K. I hadn’t done it for about a month, but I was set on starting where I left off. It was a 5 minute warm up followed by a 25 minute run. For as long as it had been since I’d done it, I did pretty well. I walked for about a minute, twice. I took yesterday off and was back at it today. Same workout, but today I just wasn’t feeling it, I struggled. It could have been because of the squat challenge I also started on the 1st. My legs haven’t quite forgiven me yet. Possibly it was because I started a new book and was concentrating on paying attention to what was going on and it took too much energy to do both. Who knows? Regardless, I will someday run, without stopping, the whole 5k. The loop I do is almost exactly 5k, and someday I will run the whole thing. Without stopping. And it will be grand.

So long 2017

2017 has seemed like one of the longest years of my life, but even so, I can feel that time is going by really fast. Everyday I am reminded of just how fast by Facebook (thank you On This Day…). There are things I wish would hurry up and happen, but that comes with the consequence of the kids getting older and older, so I should learn how to be more patient. Speaking of which, that is my one and only New Year’s Resolution. Being more patient.

Instead of going on and on about all the things that I want 2018 to be, I’m going to tell you some things I’ve learned this past year.

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Change happens, it isn’t easy, and you have to adjust yourself around it, it won’t adjust around you.

There is only one reality, so you never really know what would have happened if you made a different decision. Trust your gut and do your best, but don’t live in the what-ifs. Not only will that drive you crazy, the version you imagine most likely wouldn’t have happened the way you think it would have.

People change, and grow apart.

People change, and grow together.

Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and pretty much no one thinks they are doing a good job at it.

Lowe’s 5 year extended warranty is really only 4 years.

Perseverance pays off, but it doesn’t always get you exactly what you want. Be thankful anyway.

People are cruel, hateful, and deranged.

People are kind, loving and understanding.

Nothing brings people together quite like a tragedy.

Puppies are the worst, and the best.

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Success Amid Failure

On August 1st I joined a Fitbit daily step goal challenge put on my a member of NFLN. You have to have a minimum step goal of 9,000 and if you don’t meet your goal, you aren’t invited back. This morning I woke up at 1:30am and realized that I had forgotten to finish my steps and it was too late, the day was over. So, after 167 days, I had failed. I could have gotten to 9,000 steps easily before bed. It would have taken me 20 minutes, but I spaced it. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry when I realized what I had done. I was hoping to be one of the last men standing, but alas… The challenge started with over 100 people, and it was down to 16. So I’m still pretty proud. Part of me was a little relieved, because it was hard to get the steps some days, but I’ll miss it.

That was my failure. Now, on to my success.

Weight watchers switched up their program recently, which was good for me, because I was struggling. I had been at 202 and would go up and down and never break past that number. After one week on the new program, I had broken through my plateau. I weighed in at 200.8! I decided to weigh myself today and I am unofficially under 200! Onederland, baby! This was after I had breakfast, and lunch, and some snacks! So I’m hoping it will still be there tomorrow morning which is my official weigh in day.

I’m still a little upset about losing the Fitbit challenge, but in the scheme of things, it is a minor failure. And it doesn’t define me.

The other day I asked my husband how much more he thought I should lose. This was not a trap, haha. He thinks I’ve lost enough and should just work on toning up. My body still show signs of the three kids I’ve carried, and I’m sure that will always be evident. I’m pretty happy with my weight now, and feel comfortable and confident for the most part, but I still feel like I have a lot more work to do.

I hate exercise. Like, hate it. I’ve been so happy with the fact that I’ve lost this weight with no real physical effort, but I should probably start finding some workouts to do. I’m sure I will know when I have reached my perfect weight, but for now I am just going to revel in the fact that I am FINALLY under 200 pounds again! Woohoo!

Next step, official Onderland!

20 minutes! Boom!

It’s been 4 hours since I vowed to not eat any candy this month. So far, so good. Moving on.

A few weeks ago I posted about trying, and failing, to do C25K day Week 5 Day 3 (20 min jog. In. A. Row). Today I set out to do it again. Before I left I tried to remember all the ways it went wrong last time and then remedy them. I peed beforehand, I wore pants that stay up (they went a little wonky on one side. They were from an outlet, what did I expect?), and I used a phone carrier thing ($7 on clearance at Walmart, I bought 2!). I created a playlist and away I went (waving at all the dogs that I left stuck in the yard, crying).

I realized as soon as I started jogging that I had on the world’s worst bra. I am not even sure why I keep it. The strap kept slipping, but it wasn’t anything so major that I wanted to quit. While this was happening, I thought to myself that I should probably be fitted for a bra since I have finally noticed that mine no longer fit. People always say that boobs are the first thing to go, but I hadn’t really noticed until recently that it was happening to me.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I did it. I freaking did it! I didn’t even miss a beat at the 1 minute warning (usually I stop and then have to go again when I realize it was just letting me know that my torture is almost over). Breathing was a little rough at points, and my legs felt a little heavier than normal (maybe the pants?), but for the most part, I did ok. I wasn’t in pain, and I probably could have kept going. I was pretty impressed with myself.

It lasted 7 songs, which was exactly the amount that I had in my playlist.

Here they are, along with my favorite line from each.

Ay Dios Mio- Rich O’Toole Ft. Josh Abbott 

“How’s a girl that looks like you from a town this lame?” Yes, I’m vain. And yes, I think this song is about me. Its a new find. I heard it for the first time yesterday.

Bad Blood- Taylor Swift

“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes, you say sorry just for show” Perfection.

Body Like a Back Road- Sam Hunt

“Doing 15 in a 30, I ain’t in no hurry” I loved this song the moment I heard it. It took me awhile to like Sam Hunt, but he is amazing, and has written a lot of songs for other artists.

Doreen- Turnpike Troubadours

“And the guy that plays the banjo keeps on handing me the Old Crow. It multiplies my sorrow, I can’t take it anymore” This band is one of my favorites. So many good songs.

Mama’s Broken Heart-Miranda Lambert

“Leave it to me to be holding the matches when the fire trucks show up and there’s nobody left to blame.” I love her. #TeamMiranda #stillloveblakethough

Ugly Lights-Miranda Lambert

“I really hate to say I’m turning into a cliche, I’m hoping that nobody brings it up” I had to have two Miranda songs because she is my favorite. She makes me feel fierce.

Tie the Rope-The Format (Nate Ruess before he was Fun.)

“When I’m with you there’s no point in breathing” I seriously love The Format. This isn’t my favorite song of theirs, but it was upbeat, so I added it.

Week 6 Day 1 is jog for 5, walk for 3, jog for 8, walk for 3. I think I can manage that.

Regret and Candy. And November plans. 

Every 1st of the month I weigh myself so I can add up that month’s loss for my calendar. This month, it’s a gain. There might not have been if I didn’t eat my weight in candy last night, but it wouldn’t have been much loss regardless. I’m proud of myself in the fact that I didn’t eat as much candy as I usually do, but I went way off plan, and I kind of have all month. I started October only 3.5 pounds away from One-derland, and now I’m 4 pounds away! Some days I didnt track, I had Culver’s chocolate custard twice and I started drinking Diet Coke way more than I ever have. 

Here is my calendar 😭😭😭


Instead of wallowing in my gain, I’m making a plan for November. This WILL be my month! Thanksgiving and all! 
NO candy! 

No soda! (Diet or stolen sips of the real stuff)

MORE water! (I don’t drink enough of it)

Get back into C25K (I was doing good but got sick and never started again) 

Blue dot at least 5 days a week. 

I HAVE to be better about tracking this month. I used to be one of those people that tracked religiously, but I’ve gotten bored. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to track on Thanksgiving, though. I feel that this is a lifestyle change. I don’t want to be on WW forever. I want it to teach me how to maintain on my own, and holidays happen. I don’t want to be miserable in a corner somewhere while everyone else is enjoying themselves. It is all about balance. 

So, I’m moving on. Putting the terrible month of October behind me, grateful that I didn’t backslide 100%. 

I’ve told the kids my no-no list, and they have permission to punch me 🙂 

Here is a picture of us trick-or-treating last night, just for fun. 


Lumière, Belle (of the ball), and Village Belle. 

Setting yourself up for failure: an expert’s tale. 

Today was not my day. Not only was I up over 3 pounds (this always happens when I start exercising, which is why I usually quit…) but my C25K workout was to run for 20 minutes. Just the thought of this seemed impossible, but I was determined to try. 

But… Tuck was adamant about joining me. I must have accidentally said the w-word because he was stuck to my side like glue all morning. It was quite a production getting him out the door by himself. I had to coax the other two dogs into my room, which is easy to do when they think I’m going to go in there and nap, but it’s quite another when I have shoes on. I got it done and we were on our way. 

But… as I was waking out to the desert, (Slowly, Tuck stopped to pee. A lot.) I got a bit of a side cramp (This used to happen to me all the time, but hasn’t in quite awhile.) As we got even closer I felt like I had to pee, and I’m not a pee in the wilderness kind of girl. Still, I was determined to do this thing. 

But… after we went through the gate I took Tuck off his leash, which I then had to wear around my neck. Finally, it was time to run (jog). 

But… I now had a leash around my neck, my phone was in the pocket of my basketball shorts and kept banging on my leg, and Tuck was lagging behind me slower than Methuselah (I don’t even know who that is, but I hear she’s slow). So I took the phone out of my pocket, held it in the hand with my water bottle, told Tuck to keep up and kept going. 

But… I was miserable. So I stopped after 4 1/2 minutes. Not because I couldn’t keep going, but because it isn’t normally fun anyway, and I was just making it worse. Which is a sure fire way of making me quit altogether. I didn’t even have to do that workout today, usually I do them every other day. 

So Tuck and I headed home, and I have every intention of trying again. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow. But without a dog, in better shorts, after peeing, and maybe with a better watering system so I can use both arms the way God intended. 

Here are some pictures from the walk of shame home: 

Tuck being slow. 


Still slow. 



Starting to catch up. 


But… he’s so cute! I can’t stay mad at him! 


Hopefully my next post will be about how I jogged 20 minutes straight with no issues whatsoever. And lost 10 pounds doing it!

A girl can dream. 

Jogging. With a Y. And a life update.

Many, many, moons ago I started Couch to 5K. I was pretty consistent in the beginning, but then we got busy, so I would go a month (or so) without doing it. Yesterday, I jumped back on the bandwagon. The last time I did it, it was run 5 minutes, walk, run 3 minutes, and then repeat. I figured that I would still be there. Instead, I looked and it was run 5 minutes, walk, run 5 minutes, walk, run 5 minutes! The 5 and 3 killed me, so I was thinking, “we’ll see about this…” I ended up surviving. Shocker. Anyway, I am in this FitBit challenge (I’ll go into more detail on this in a minute), and yesterday it was so much easier having most of my steps done by 9 am. So today I decided to do it again, thinking it would be the 5 minute thing again. Wrong again, Jane! Today it was 8 minutes!

You would not believe how happy I was to hear the little “ding” at the end of the first 8 minute stretch. But something happened during the second stretch. The song “These Boots” by Eric Church came on. To me this song is directly tied to the Route 91 Harvest Festival and the massacre that happened there (I had a whole blog about that, but I didn’t post it). I knew that the “ding” would happen before that song was over, but I decided that I would keep going. All of the people that died, the people that were injured, and the people that were there and now have to go on living life were my motivation to push myself a little bit harder. Today my struggle didn’t seem to be that bad. Today they were my “why”. It was only an extra minute or so, but it meant something to me to be able to do that in their honor. Sometimes we have to dig deep and find motivation to do the things we don’t feel like we can do.

I peeked at the next workout and it is 20 minute of non-stop, so I might have to put the song on repeat to make it through tomorrow…

On a happier note: we are in the process of getting a new modular home. We have outgrown our house, and we have a larger piece of property across town, so it is in the works! I am one of those people that is always waiting for the other shoe to drop, so I haven’t told a lot of people. It’s a waiting game right now, but the house is ordered and I am ready to move in! I am a little sad, though. This was my first real home with the kids. This is where I picked up the pieces of our lives and created some much needed stability. I worked really hard for this house, and Tim and I started our lives together in it. So it is bittersweet, but a much needed change. I am not looking forward to being house poor, but we will make it all work.

Click Here for our floor plan!

The next big news item is that after a year and a half of court proceedings and major stress we have FINALLY heard back from the judge about the kids! I never like going into too much detail about all of this, but the girls were not in a good situation when they went to visit their dad every other weekend. We finally had the proof that we needed to do something about it, so we took the opportunity to do so. I didn’t know it would take this long, and I have learned a lot about our judicial system in the process, but it is a huge relief to be done. The judge interviewed the kids almost a month ago and we have been sitting by the phone since then just waiting for him to make his decision. I now have sole legal and physical custody, and I am so relieved.

The next thing I want to mention is the FitBit challenge I’m in. The wonderful Virginia (No Finish Line Nation) had an idea in July to do an daily elimination challenge. I may have talked about this in another blog (I can never remember what I write) but I would just like to say how awesome she is. We started on 8/1 and she has put so much work into keeping track of 100 (ish) people. We have to have at least a 9,000 daily step goal. If you don’t make your step goal for the day, you are eliminated from the challenge. It is day 80 and we are down to 29 people. There have been so many days that I didn’t want to even do this, but my competitive side always wins out. I am so thankful for this challenge because the past few weeks I have just been losing and gaining the same 2 pounds. If I wasn’t hitting my step goal every day, I would probably be gaining more than the 2 pounds. She is a rock star. If you have a FitBit, you should think about doing a challenge like this with your friends!

Speaking of losing and gaining the same 2 pounds over and over, I really need to stop sneaking chocolate milk! Hopefully getting back into the yogging will help with that!

 

 

-50.4 

You may remember that in February I had dinner with some people and one of them (Randy) was on Weight Watchers . That was how my journey started. I saw Randy again today for the first time since that night, and it just so happens that today is Weigh-in day and I’m officially down 50.4 pounds! I don’t even know how that is possible, but it’s a huge accomplishment and I’m very excited to continue this journey. 

My husband asked me today how much more weight I wanted to lose, and he was appalled by my answer of 40 more pounds. He doesn’t think I need to lose that much, and I might not. Time will tell. I’ll stop when I feel like it’s the right time, I plan on listening to my body. Right now I’m a little over 3 pounds from One-derland, so I’m looking forward to that next goal being met.